This is a pose that we often include in our practice, it is good to take a few moments to ponder on the legend behind the pose and consider how it can relate to our lives.
In Hinduism it is believed that we are reincarnated and Shiva the god of death and destruction takes many forms, here he is the king of the Dance (Natarajasana), with snakes around his neck, dreadlocks standing on end, balancing on a tiny dwarf with a ring of fire encircling him.
Shiva stands over the land ready to turn each age that passes in to dust, to him each age is only a passing moment while it is a lifetime to us mere mortals, the drum in his hand beats to signal the end of one era and the birth of the next. The ring of fire represents samsara, the cycle of life that all of mankind are at the mercy of, birth life and death. Shiva Ignores the beat and the circle of flames, he only sees it as another rhythm to his dance. Fearless in the face of this binding wheel and the toxic serpents that surround him.
The cobra emitting poison represents avidya, misunderstanding of ourselves as something other than divine. However, for Shiva there is no danger as he has found the remedy which is enlightened knowledge!
Through asanas (postures), pranayama (breathing) and meditation the yogi can rid oneself of avidya and remind ourselves that we are all divine in nature. If we forget we become locked in samsara and fall prey to the poison of avidya.
The tiny dwarf represents ignorance, the dwarf is constantly causing mischief antagonising us all with the petty dramas of daily life, Shiva is able to overcome this dwarf and he stands on him and he does not allow him to get the better of him. By standing on the demon of ignorance Shiva rises to a high consciousness above the daily dramas and only focusing on the rhythm of the dance.
To dance like Shiva we must feel free, shake off anything that binds us permanently. Shiva’s dance is born out of liberation from the fear of change. As a yogi we try to ride the wave of change as if we’re on a cosmic surfboard coasting to a shore of bliss.
The fear of change causes more stress than any other fear, embrace change and feel the liberation that comes with it. To make something new, something must be destroyed, Shiva gives us permission to destroy our social norms and create something entirely new. giving us space to make positive, abundant choices in our lives and let go of fear.
Natarajasana allows us to experience back-bending and balancing both things that can bring fear. This pose requires openness and bravery, we store fear in our hearts and here we can give ourselves the opportunity to let go of that fear. If we can backbend and balance with the same sense of liberation then we can embrace freedom in our minds and hearts.
Lets do this yogis ! Namaste Vx